Hawaii was on fire in the early 1960s. And not just from volcanoes. It had become a state in 1959, the 50th to join the US. Then Elvis Presley made a hit movie called “Blue Hawaii” in 1961 — just as a cocktail of the same name was gaining popularity.
These events combined to generate a burst of interest in the Hawaiian islands, at the same time that jet travel was making them accessible to mainlanders. The Elvis movie in particular highlighted the beauty and fun available in what was (for most people) still an exotic part of the world. It also didn’t hurt that Tiki restaurants — very popular at the time — were drawing attention to Polynesia, the ultimate source of Hawaiian culture. No wonder Hawaii became such a popular vacation choice (and has remained one ever since).
But even if you can’t jet off to Honolulu, you can still enjoy a taste of tropical paradise with this blue-hued drink. Mix up a round and let your imagination set the scene: pristine beaches, cloudless skies, sighing surf. Elvis bobblehead optional.